Many women are perfectionists in all parts of their lives, and romance is no exception. They have perfect homes, perfect wardrobes, perfect organizational skills — and a perfectly empty bed. It's possible to idealize love and relationships to such a degree that no mortal man will live up to your standards. If you're too picky, the men you meet will always come up short.
Of course, some fantasizing is good for you. You set the bar high for love and refuse to settle for just anyone — and that's great. However, it's possible for those standards to become completely unrealistic. If you find yourself dating, dating, and dating, but never feeling that "click," it may be time to turn that microscope around. What could you improve on your end? Are you giving these guys a chance? Are you all of the things you expect in a mate?
Sometimes, too-high standards can signal a deeper problem. "He's just not good enough," can be a convenient excuse for avoiding real intimacy. Such thinking can even intrude in long-term relationships. For example, do you secretly think that your partner needs to lose ten pounds, or do you become irrationally irritated by his table manners? While some nitpicking between partners is natural, it can also be a sign that you aren’t comfortable in your own skin. Yes, it could be that you are the one with a problem…not him!
Interestingly enough, the things we find to nitpick in our partners are often the things we don’t like in ourselves. This is the theory of “you spot it, you got it.” In other words, our own flaws are always the easiest to see in someone else. For example, if you are unhappy with your own weight, you might find yourself making sarcastic comments when your partner reaches for a third slice of pizza. If you are feeling stressed about the kids, you might suddenly start complaining about your partner’s parenting skills. It all comes down to one thing: You don’t like the lack of control you have over your own life, so you focus on the lack of control your partner seems to have over his life. Subconsciously, it always seems easier to try to get your partner to change than to try to change yourself.
Unfortunately, even if your partner were to become the perfect spouse, parent, lover, employee, gym buff, or whatever else you believe you need him to be, it still wouldn’t give you back that sense of control. Your partner’s perfection can only go so far — you are the only one who can ultimately make yourself happy.
Hence, the next time you become irritated at your partner’s behavior, examine yourself. (Hint: The more forcefully you think “No way am I guilty of that!” the more likely it is that your behaviors are similar.) If you seek to understand and compare your behavior patterns, you’ll gain a greater sense of empathy for each other and become more patient and accepting.